This book examines the strangely neglected area of Chekhov's one-act plays and the evolution of his comedy techniques. These short pieces, written between 1885 and 1903, reveal many of the comic and distancing effects which are to be found in the major plays. Still frequently performed, they tell us as much about Chekhov's philosophy as his use of theatre, and justify his view of himself as a writer of comedies. Vera Gottlieb describes the playwright's approach to theatre in the light of contemporary Russian traditions: a succinct résumé of French comedy and vaudeville on the Russian stage provides the background for an interesting assessment of the degree of innovation in Chekhov's one-act plays. Russian sources have been used extensively, while an appendix includes new translations of two little-known theatre sketches by Chekhov. This 1982 book is a vital addition to criticism of Chekhov and the Russian stage.
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- Date Published: April 2010
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521136983
- length: 240 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 140 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.31kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
1. Objectivity and commitment: the evolution of a philosophy
2. Conventions and innovations in Russian comedy
3. The farce-vaudevilles: The Bear, The Proposal, A Tragic Role, The Anniversary, The Night before the Trial
4. The dramatic studies: On the High Road, Swan Song (Calchas), Tatyana Repina
5. A play in one act: The Wedding
6. A monologue is one act: Smoking is Bad for You
7. A conclusion
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